I have posted many times about the challenges that my wife and I have faced with raising a son with autism. He has been attending his current school for a little more than 5 years now and graduates in June. Upon graduation, we had hopes of getting him into a group home situation. We feel this would be the best situation for him to continue the progress he has made at his school. Whenever he comes home for a visit, he tends to regress. For this reason, we believe that an extended stay at home after graduation would be detrimental to his continued development.
We have been working with various agencies to try to accomplish the goal of getting him funding for a group home. A few days ago, we received a letter from the Developmental Disabilities Administration in Maryland with news. The letter stated that our son was classified in the greatest need for funding. That was the good news. The bad news is that there is no funding currently available. On the advice of his transitional coordinator at school, I have written to our Governor expressing the need for additional funding for the disabled community.
I have posted that communication below. Similar communications will be sent to my state Senator and Delegates.
I voted for you in the last election, and now could use your help. I am writing in regards to my 20 year old son who has autism. Currently, he attends school at the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children in Ridgely, MD. He has been a student there for the past 5 years and graduates in June.
Our hope is that he would be able to get funding to enter a residential program through DDA upon graduation. He has been classified in the Crisis Resolution category as having the greatest need for services but that funding was not available and would have to be put on a waiting list.
Sending our son to live at the Benedictine School was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. However, it was the best thing for our son. He has made so much progress in their program. Unfortunately, when he is at home, he tends to regress. If he were to have to move home until funding is available for a residential program it would be detrimental to his well being.
Governor Hogan, it is for this reason that I write to you. I am asking that you and the state legislature to provide adequate funding so that the DDA can provide the services that my son, and other members of the community with disabilities can get the services they need. Thank you for your consideration.